Ankara, 8 June 2017 – The European Union and UNICEF celebrated today the launch of a conditional cash transfer for education programme - CCTE, which will benefit more than 230,000 Syrian and other refugee children.
The programme aims to increase the number of refugee children in schools by promoting school attendance, reducing drop-out rates, and encouraging enrolment. The programme also includes an important component that will ensure the follow-up of the most vulnerable children and their referral to complementary child protection services as required.
The Government of Turkey has been providing conditional education support for children from the most vulnerable families in Turkey since 2003. This programme is now being extended to vulnerable refugee children in both Turkish public schools and temporary education centres.
The extension of the CCTE is implemented through a close partnership between the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, the Ministry of National Education, AFAD, the Turkish Red Crescent and UNICEF. It was made possible thanks to a generous EUR 34 million contribution from the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid - ECHO, which is their largest ever contribution to education in emergencies. The programme is also supported by Norway and the Unites States of America. It is expected that additional partners will also support the programme shortly.
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides attended the opening ceremony held today in Ankara and said: "Refugee children have survived events that are unimaginable to most of us. That's why investing in education is crucial and is a priority for the European Union. We want to help these children regain a sense of normality and give them opportunities for the future. I'm proud to announce that the programme is now fully up and running and already we've reached the families of 56,000 refugee children. I thank our partner UNICEF, as well as the Turkish Red Crescent and the Turkish Government for sharing our commitment to make education a right for all."
Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Director and Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe declared, “The extension of the CCTE programme to refugee children is an excellent example of putting national social protection systems, expertise and actors at the centre of our response to humanitarian crises. It is a recognition that longer-term sustainable interventions are required to adequately respond to protracted crises. UNICEF is grateful for the commitment of the Government of Turkey and the generous financial support of the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid to this important programme which makes a difference in the lives of so many children”.
Notes to editor:
Turkey is currently host to more than three million refugees, almost half of whom are children. Education for school-age children is a key challenge, with almost 500,000 children enrolled in formal education across the country (in Turkish schools and temporary education centres), while an estimated over 370,000 children remain out of school. Since end of May this year about 56,000 refugee children benefit from the expansion of the CCTE and it is expected that 230,000 children will be reached during 2017.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
About EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid
The European Union with its Member States is a leading global donor of humanitarian aid. Through the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), the EU helps over 120 million victims of the conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, ECHO provides assistance to the most vulnerable people solely on the basis of humanitarian needs, without discrimination of race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation.